Are Private VPN's worth it?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dazed, Aug 22, 2015.

  1. dazed macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #1
    am wondering on people thoughts on services like hidemyass. Are they worth having?

    Seems like the Internet is just becoming a place where you are always being spied on and tracked. Do these service actually work for those of us who just want a bit of privacy ?

    I know some people have the attitude that if you have nothing to hide then you shouldn't need to worry but I'm not sure I quite buy that argument.

    Thanks.
     
  2. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    #2
    Just a renewed my "Witopia" VPN for a 4th year in a row because they offer a great quality product with excellent customer service. I really need it here in Costa Rica in order to access my USA Bank Account and other Websites.
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #3
    If you have an identifiable need for a VPN then they are useful but for general use all they do is provide a different path for the data. In many cases you still need to provide personal data over the VPN. For example if you buy a book on Amazon. They need your credit card and home address.

    DOn't just say "want a bit of privacy" because that means nothing. You have to be specific and say "need to conceal by IP address for this particular site" Then with a speck need you can verify if you are getting what you want. But with a non-specific and vague request you can never know if it is working for you. VPNs are just proxies. Will that help you? It depends.
     
  4. dazed thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #4
    Thanks for be feedback. I will look into it a bit more. There seems to be no shortage of companies, it's just finding a reliable one.
     
  5. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #5
    In my opinion, it's better to have a VPN than not. They can be easily switched on or off and many of the service providers offer very reasonable pricing.
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #6
    I think you will find most all the "free" VPN services are pretty mediocre and you will want to get a paid VPN if you plan to use it much. Just from reading the forums, it seems a lot if members here use PIA.
     
  7. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #7
    I respect you opinion @Weaselboy, what do you think about VPN for the average user? Good idea or no?
     
  8. ComputerHacker macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    #8
    If you don't care about hiding your ip/encrypting your internet traffic or aren't trying to unblock something I wouldn't bother. Don't just get one to just to have it its a waste of money.
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #9
    If you are doing a lot of work that needs to be secure and you are doing that over public IPs like at say a StarBucks wifi, I can certainly see the value. But for the average user normally operating from home, or just web browsing and email on public wifi, I don't see the need.
     
  10. UKgaryb macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2013
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #10
    I use a combo of PrivateInternetAccess.com i know ProXPN looks good, i'm going to look at them.
     
  11. Windowsrefugee macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    Location:
    Microsoft Land
    #11
    We have been considering a VPN for my business (I handle proprietary data) and for banking (my wife does most of our banking and payments online), particularly since we travel a lot. We would need it to handle 6-8 devices between my wife and me. Any other suggestions on good values and international coverage?
     
  12. UKgaryb macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2013
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #12
    I don't know if you listen to SecurityNow podcast on Twit with Steve Gibson (Brilliant researcher and programmer) but ProXPN gave him their source code to vet. They are not a USA based company, which i think is important due to the NSA Saga.

    PrivateInternetAccess allows 1 user and it's about £30 per month, to be honest for a good service you will pay something.

    If you kind of trust your current ISP, and have decent upload/downloads and a relatively sticky IP or static IP you could roll your own, i do this in OS X Server with a MacMini or some routers have VPN Servers built in, like the EdgeRouter Lite.
     
  13. mwebb macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    #13
    Free VPN's either throttle speed or limit file sizes. They are ok in a pinch if you are traveling and need some guarantee of data security when logging into your bank at a cafe. But, be sure you trust the VPN (who's watching the watchers issue).

    But for high speed Netlix while traveling overseas, you need a paid VPN with high transfer rates. I get up to 20mBps from Private Internet Access per SpeedTest, and can watch Netflix overseas if my hotel internet is up to it. You also need multiple servers, which PIA has. Just $39.95 per year if you pay in advance. Up to 5 devices active concurrently. Good tech support instructions for obscure devices and operating systems, apps for the more common ones. If I don't use the VPN when I travel, Google shunts me to local search results often in foreign languages.

    Running VPN all the time is a mixed blessing. There are security firms that hunt down VPN servers and blacklist them to banks, since overseas hackers often use VPN servers to spoof local USA presence and try to do bad things to our bank accounts etc. So sometimes accessing my banks when overseas is a PITA - if I use the local server, they ban me simply for being overseas, if I use my VPN showing a USA presence, they ban be for using the VPN! Go figure.

     
  14. Nordichund macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #14
     
  15. Nordichund macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #15
    I also use PrivateInternetAccess, mainly so I can watch UK television here in Norway. I always use it if I log onto a public WIFI at a hotel or cafe for security. It doesn't take much knowledge to spy on users connected to such a network.

    I think for a small price a secure VPN is worth it. I certainly have no regrets. There are better VPNs out there that are faster and offer better security, but for my use PIA fits my needs.
     
  16. Thunderboltedge macrumors regular

    Thunderboltedge

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2014
    Location:
    Milan
    #16
    For me it has been vital.
    I just moved abroad so many things or services from my Country wouldn't be accessible browsing from here.
    So yes more than for privacy I would say it is very useful if you do travel a lot abroad.
     
  17. aloshka macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    #17
    Don't listen to those people. If they have absolutely nothing to hide is there any reason I can't get their facebook passwords? I'll take email too, again, nothing to hide, all ok and is fine if it's public.
     
  18. kmaute macrumors 6502

    kmaute

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #18
    Try TunnelBear, it's free for the first 500Mb but you can get another Gb if you tweet their promo ad. It's what I use if I need to use shady wifi.
     
  19. VPNsecurity macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2015
    #19
    It depends on what you consider privacy. Unlike your ISP, HMA doesn't keep traffic logs. They do, however, keep connection logs (that is information that can identify you - real IP address, bandwidth etc) which makes them a less attractive privacy company. They also heavily cooperate with authorities and ban users who download certain copyrighted content. It's also likely they might tap into specific user's activities (start logging everything) if they are asked to. So it completely depends on what you're planning on doing.

    HMA has a very large network of servers. The downside to this is that a lot of people complain that HMA IP addresses have been abused in the past and are now blacklisted by a wide number of services. Other than that, it's a good provider with reliable speed.
     
  20. madeirabhoy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    #20

    I'm guessing thats a typo and you meant €3 a month. PIA for me i pay for 5 machines at a time and its €40 a year.


    personally i don't find any need to use it for security, and actually mail stops sending emails when its switched on. i use it only for uk tv but its a bargain. i did a lot of research and PIA is very well thought of, and I've been happy.
     
  21. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #21
    It depends on the jurisdiction you are in.

    Some countries block parts of the web (china, iran) other places are famous for money extortion schemes that involve your ip (germany).

    As a general rule of thumb a proxy (tor, vpns) are always a good idea.
     
  22. gnasher729, Nov 19, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015

    gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #22
    It's a fallacious argument known as an "ad hominem attack". It basically claims that if you want privacy, then you must be an evil person because you have something to hide. Recognising the fallacy, you can reject this argument out of hand.

    For further argumentation: First, if a British politician uses the argument, they are all hiding their expenses nowadays, so it seems that if you are a politician cheating on your expenses, then you have a lot to hide but nothing to fear because you are the one in power. Second, I reserve the right to do things without others finding out about them, because it's none of their bloody business. Third, I reserve the right to do things that I need to hide because I want to do as I please without being subjeced to the judgement of the people around me.

    On a different level, we have all a lot to hide to keep criminals from taking advantage of us. If I order an expensive TV online, I have to hide that or some criminal will wait in front of my home for the delivery to turn up and steal that TV straight from the delivery van. And I have to hide the credit card number that I used to order the TV, or some criminal will order two more for himself.
     
  23. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    #23
    AFAIK, Edward Snowden recommends running your own VPN, on a VPS paid by BitCoin...
    He probably chained a couple of those together, in different countries ;-)
     
  24. arggg14 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2014
    #24
    Use PIA here with no complaints. All of the servers have been pretty zippy.
     
  25. ragu macrumors member

    ragu

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    #25
    HI Dazed you should really lean towards PIA as they are very competitive in pricing have good support and offer you connections for 5 devices on 1 account (VPN Router, Mac Mini, iPhone 6 and alas a lonely windows laptop ) theses are all using my PIA VPN $39 / year great price
     

Share This Page